This starts to become more clear when you study how the name “Israel” came about and what it signifies. As you know, Israel was the name given to Jacob … Genesis 32:28 …..’And he said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed.’ … Just before this, Jacob was greatly distressed because of his sin (deception) towards his brother Esau, and was greatly afraid that Esau, who was on his way to meet Jacob with 400 men, was going to kill him. So Jacob prayed to God for help and protection, and an angel came to him and a great struggle began between Jacob and the angel. The reason for the struggle is that Jacob would not let the angel go until he received a blessing from God. The angel proclaimed that Jacob had prevailed and gave him the name Israel. This represented Jacob’s struggle and victory over sin through God’s grace, and therefore God applied the SPIRITUAL name of Israel to Jacob.
God also applied the SPIRITUAL name of Israel to Jacob’s descendents … Exodus 4:22-23 …..’And thou shalt say unto Pharaoh, Thus saith the LORD, Israel is my son, even my firstborn: And I say unto thee, Let my son go, that he may serve me: and if thou refuse to let him go, behold, I will slay thy son, even thy firstborn.’ … Now who is God asking Pharaoh to let go? Not Jacob himself, but all His people. So God is applying the name “Israel” to ALL HIS PEOPLE.
Now take a look at the following interesting application of the name Israel … Hosea 11:1 …..’When Israel was a child, then I loved him, and called my son out of Egypt.’ … Who was God talking about here? Was it the literal nation of Israel? Well, Israel had by now fallen in and out of apostasy many times, so was God talking about someone else? … Matthew 2:13-14 …..’And when they were departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeareth to Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word: for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him. When he arose, he took the young child and his mother by night, and departed into Egypt.’ … King Herod wanted Jesus killed and so God gave word to Joseph to take Jesus and Mary to Egypt. So was God talking about Jesus (as Israel) in Hosea? Well, look at this next verse … Matthew 2:15 …..’And was there until the death of Herod: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, out of Egypt have I called my son.’ … Do you see this amazing truth? Matthew is quoting directly from Hosea, saying that the “Israel” spoken of in Hosea was Christ Jesus! So do you see the SPIRITUAL application of the name Israel?
Bible verses that once applied to literal Israel in the Old Testament, are now applied in a spiritual symbolic way to Christ Jesus, as Israel are no longer the “seed” because Christ is … Galatians 3:16 …..’Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, and to seeds, as of many; but as of one, and to thy seed, which is Christ.’ … Christ is now the seed, and anyone who believes in Him and follows Him are his CHOSEN PEOPLE.
Remember in the Old Testament that the Israelites were called God’s “chosen people”, “a kingdom of priests, a holy nation”? … Exodus 19:6 …..’And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.’ … But this statement is now applied to Christians … 1 Peter 2:9 …..’But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light.’ … If you like many others think that Peter is talking to the Jews, then take another look. Peter says these people were “called out of darkness and into His marvellous light“. There is only one group of people this could be … THE GENTILE CONVERTS who are now Christians!
Galatians 3:29 …..’And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.’
Romans 2:29 …..’But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.’
Friend, this is the amazing Bible truth about Israel. If you remember in Galatians 3:16, Paul stated that Christ was now the seed of Abraham, and above he says that ANYONE who is in Christ is also Abraham’s seed. In other words, ANYONE, whether Jew or Gentile will be called Israel!And as Paul confirms in Romans above, ANYONE can be a Jew (called Israel) if they are circumcised in the heart and are in Christ Jesus.
What does this mean? It means that literal Jews (Israel) are no longer God’s special chosen people. Instead, ANYONE who comes to Christ Jesus now has that special position.
Romans 9:6-8 …..’Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect. For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel: Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called. That is, they which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed.’ … In other words, we who are “children of Christ” are counted for the promise and become the special chosen people. Being a Jew of the flesh counts for nothing now. Anyone who worships God in spirit and truth now is TRUE Israel … Philippians 3:3 …..’For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have NO confidence in the flesh.’
Now from what we have learned above, let’s apply it to the following verse … Romans 11:26 …..’And so all Israel shall be saved.’ … Many people apply this to literal Israel of the flesh, saying that all literal Jews will turn to Christ Jesus in the last days and be saved. But in light of what we have learned above, there is only ONE conclusion that we can come to, which is, ALL WHO ARE IN CHRIST JESUS will be saved … SPIRITUAL ISRAEL! And if you read Romans 11 in context, then you will see that Paul says in verse 14 that he wants to provoke the people of his own flesh (literal jews) to jealousy, so that some of them MIGHT be saved.
So you can see from the language Paul is using that SOME of the literal Jews MIGHT be saved IF they turn from their sins and follow the Lord Jesus Christ. And in light of the rest of the clear evidence shown, the Israel he speaks of in Romans 11:26 must be the true Christian Church.
Galatians 3:28 …..’There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for YE ARE ALL ONE in Christ Jesus.’
Colossians 3:10-11 …’And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him: Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all.’
I hope you see this truth, because you will not get to the truth about end times Bible prophecy unless you see the truth that the name of Israel is now applied to the Christian Church. Words like Israel, temple, mount Zion, Babylon, all have a symbolic spiritual meaning in end time prophecy, not a literal one. Once you understand this, you can move forward in your study of Bible prophecy and your eyes will be opened WIDE!
Jesus said to the Jews … “Behold, your house is left unto you desolate.” (Matthew 23:38)
Jesus also said … “Therefore I say unto you, the kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof.” (Matthew 21:43)
The Jews had Jesus crucified and even said themselves … “His blood be on us and on our children.” (Matthew 27:25) … And not only did they reject Christ and crucify Him, they also rejected God’s extended mercy to them when they rejected the gospel message given through the apostles. Then Paul says to them … “It was necessary that the Word of God should first have been spoken to you; but seeing as ye put it from you and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the gentiles.” (Acts 13:46)
After Jesus was crucified, the gospel message had to go to the Jews first to fulfill the 70 weeks of Daniel. In His mercy, God gave the Jews a last chance to turn to Him and accept the gospel message, but they rejected it, and therefore the “kingdom was taken from them” and the apostles turned their attention from the Jews to the Gentiles. This is the truth about Israel in the end times. They are no longer the chosen of God and therefore we need not look to them for fulfillment of end times Bible prophecy. end-times-prophecy.org